Israel Defense Forces troops moved into Hebron overnight Friday after a shooting attack in the divided West Bank city wounded two Israeli teens, one seriously.
The Hebrew-language Walla website said that soldiers took over several houses near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Jewish holy site at which the two youths had been praying before they were shot. During the operation, the troops went up to the rooftops of a number of homes to bolster security at the tomb in the wake of the attack.
The Ynet news website quoted Palestinians as saying that the IDF has also blocked roads leading into Hebron, using concrete blocks and mounds of dirt to prevent passage.
The two teens, aged 16 and 18, were hospitalized in Jerusalem on Friday evening after they were hit by gunfire near the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The 16-year-old was seriously hurt when he was hit by gunfire in the upper body, while the 18-year-old sustained light injuries.
The gunfire apparently came from the direction of the Abu Sneina neighborhood of the city, targeting worshipers as they emerged from the tomb. The IDF said around 4,000 Jewish worshipers were visiting the holy site as part of a religious pilgrimage; this weekend’s Torah portion is “Chayei Sarah,” which details Abraham’s purchase of the tomb.
Large numbers of IDF troops were deployed to the Palestinian neighborhoods surrounding the Jewish settlement in Hebron to search for the cell behind the attack, the Ynet news website reported.
The attack was one of four on Israelis by Palestinian terrorists Friday. An IDF soldier was seriously hurt in a second shooting of the day near Hebron, shortly after the teens were attacked.
On Friday afternoon, a man in his 40s was seriously wounded when he was stabbed in a West Bank industrial park north of Jerusalem. The terrorist fled the scene. Minutes earlier, a Palestinian woman in her 70s tried to drive her car into a group of IDF soldiers near Hebron, but was shot and killed by troops at the scene. None of the soldiers were injured in the attack.